The Heritage Project

In recognition of the immense local and national historical importance of this archive, Writing on the Wall have been awarded Heritage Lottery funding for a seventeen month creative heritage project. WoW’s Co-Director, Madeline Heneghan, local Writer Emy Onuora, and internationally renowned poet Levi Tafari, are working with community members to explore, preserve and catalogue the archive, and to respond creatively to this incredible resource. Through weekly workshops project participants have:

  • Explored Black settlement in Liverpool and the UK from the early establishment of that community in the late 1800's and early 1900's, and gained an understanding of how the Liverpool community differed in its development as compared to other UK cities while being able to identify similarities across the Black British experience. 
  • Began to conduct historical research into the archive and its historical and social context locally, nationally internationally. 
  • Developed skills, in cataloguing, digitisation, preservation and curation, in relation to historic documentary archives, receiving training and advice from a range of professionals including staff within the Liverpool Records Office and National Museums Liverpool.
  • Developed web based skills through the scanning, cataloguing and digitisation of the archive for presentation on a dedicated website.

Black Poppies: Throughout November 2015 Levi Tafari lead creative writing workshops in which the public were invited to respond creatively to the archive through story-telling and poetry. This phase of the project is linked in with the Weeping Window sculpture which was on display at Liverpool’s St George's Hall.

In January, again linked to the Weeping Window programme, public workshops were held in which black poppies were hand-made to commemorate those men who are named in the archive and black men from Liverpool who served in the First World War. This resulting display recognised the contribution of those who defended Britain during the First World War but who were not invited to march in victory parades.

In October 2017 Writing on the Wall launched the Great War to Race Riots book, written by WoW's co-director Madeline Heneghan, and local writer Emy Onoura, it features the key elements of the archives, stories of the men and their relations as they reside now in Liverpool, and discusses the social and cultural impact the 1919 Race Riots had upon those living in Liverpool following 1919 through to today.